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To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future
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To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Would you willingly overlook clear direction from God that speaks directly to you and where you are in life right now?

God’s guidance is near at hand. He is not only your Authority, he is also your Author. As God writes the stories of your life, he uses your past to open up your future.

It is your privilege to listen to your own story so you can live boldly for the sake of
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 7th 2006 by WaterBrook (first published 2005)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  809 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book got me writing again. Although I love Dan Allender's work, I didn't expect to be so moved by this particular title. The power of personal story has been a popular topic for years now (see Donald Miller's "A Million Miles..."), and I had an attitude of "been there, done that." I was wrong. I love Allender's emphasis on how our personal stories help reveal the greatest story, the story that God is telling about himself. This is not idle navel-gazing; this is truth-telling, the kind that ...more
Helen Gillette
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book came at just the right time. I was attempting to dig deeply into my past to be able to understand more about who, what, and the why of me. I wanted to fill in some missing puzzle pieces of my life. I was actually able to be a part of a Story Group, based on Dan Allender's teaching. Once I started putting pen to paper and writing My Story, there was a freeing of my soul and a realization of life patterns. This book helped me learn more of how to add to my story and understand things abo ...more
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am inspired to dream beyond the limitations mankind has set upon me. Embrace risk and embark on a great and holy adventure. Jesus came to give us a full life. He left each of us with certain gifts in unequal measures. What will you do with the weight of glory entrusted to you? Will you hide it or invest wisely the talents bestowed to you?
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
Dan Allender has written an excellent and inspiring book on knowing, understanding and embracing the story God is writing of your life, based on the theme of the circumstances He has uniquely and purposefully allowed into your life. Illustrated with powerful stories from the lives of others, it assures you of God's goodness, healing power and transformation in your own life as you come to know, share and even co-author your own story.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have never really thought about the importance of telling our stories. This book opened my eyes to how we not only need to share our story but also listen to the stories of others. In telling my story, I am telling God's story. When we we look at our past....the hurts, the ugly parts, the joy and triumphs we can see the theme/themes that God is weaving into our story and when we do that we are able to see how God is giving us a role in His story. We can start to see his calling in our life. I ...more
B. Mason
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
There's wisdom and insight to be gleaned from this book and, as a writer, I found considerable power in Allender's metaphor of our lives as stories, to be told and understood by others and ourselves. However, I often found myself getting mired in the language of "evangelicalese" that attempts to feel and sound important but only confuses the point that's trying to be made. What is even more frustrating is that Allender's assertions, such as knowing your past in order to be able to understand you ...more
Amy Robinson
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was reading through the reviews and found it disturbing that people do not want to hear about other Christians abuse that they have suffered in their lives. I gave this book a five star rating for several reasons, one he is extremely authentic and he knows that through sharing his story, he is helping others find their place as well. Also, because he stresses the importance of journaling because we need to know who we are!!! If we are avoiding past experiences of adversity in our lives (includ ...more
Tyler Williams
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ok, this book SHOULD have been a 5 star read, I can easily see how it would be life changing and future transforming. I loved Allender’s thought process and feel like I really missed out on this book... probably will read it again. However, it felt like only a 3 star book as I read it because of 2 factors. First, it is definitely a book that needs you to do the homework to get the fullness of its potential out of it. And if you read it in community with those you trust and discuss, even better. ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan Allender has a positive gift for tearing me apart with words. Read his books.

This one in particular jolted me between excitement, passion, elation, terror, shame, embarrassment, and nearly everything else in between. Allender forced me to confront my own life in a way I've never had to before: honestly, sympathetically, critically, and redemptively. His gentle encouragement and piercing words did more to wreck my preconceived notions about myself than any other book I've read.

I'm still proce
Dwayne A Milley
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was supposed to read this book a couple of weeks ago for an assignment for some education I’m taking. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the syllabus correctly and submitted the assignment having not read the book. Oops! When I learned this earlier this week, I quickly downloaded the book (Kobo) and committed to read it over the weekend. It took me about 3.5 hours all said.

It’s a very good book, and written very much from a Christian perspective. It speaks to the power of our story and how we can s
Mary Featherstone
Profoundly moving

I am profoundly grateful to Dan Allender for writing this book and encouraging me to go with God into the deep end as I look at the story He has written me into. To dare to consider writing my story to offer hope to others and reveal the glory of God and His redemptive plan in my life feels very risky. I am looking at a painful past with new eyes, even gratitude and most certainly hope because of His Authorship. To consider co-authoring the rest of my life makes me shake my head
Wendy Olson
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is the first book you want to read when you start embracing your story. His podcast and coinciding students podcasts are something you’re going to want to subscribe to. I recommend The Allender Center and The Place We Find Ourselves podcasts just to start. This book walks you through how a story should be written, but it’s not for just authors. It’s for everyone whose had trauma, everyone whose survived their life, everyone who needs healing and wholeness ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a great review of your past, with an eye to how it shapes your future, Dan Allender is an excellent story teller and encourager for you. Our group of 20, with probably 12 attending each week has found it to be a good stimulator of conversation in small group, as well as helping us explore our past and the hurtful times. There is a workbook available also all though it is more expensive. I would not buy it unless you wanted to learn to journal and refine your writing.
Wojik Romanovicz

This book has moved me on a journey toward understanding. An understanding I think I've always known, but have been too intimidated to experience. Our stories are powerful, and it is in the telling that we find the unmistakeable work of God in our lives. A reminder that we are not to keep our lamp under a basket, but instead hold it high to light and know our path.
Ariana Scott
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was really helpful in being able to look back on my life and clearly identify connections between certain events and how they are affecting me now. In turn, I'm able to better understand and work through them with the Lord.
Denise Hisey
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd read this book a few years ago but as with many books, I found myself understanding things more deeply and in different ways this round. I came away with a newfound desire to be involved with story telling and the healing it brings.
Timothy N Brooks
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Story

I love the challenge of reading / writing our stories . It has inspired me to write my story to understand better how God is working in my life and how he wants to work in my life. And most importantly how I can cooperate with the story he wants to write in my life
Nancy Piper
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Story is life changing!

We all ache for someone to know our story. We are called to be a safe place to hold others life stories with love and honor as well as our own . This book pierced my heart. I want to tell my story and I want to hear yours.
Kelly Collins
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The information in this book should have been a blog or magazine article. It did not warrant an entire book.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Absolutely loved this book. It taught me a lot about understanding my own story and beginning to write it. Such a deep and interesting book and would highly suggest to everyone.
Sarah Knox
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gloriously good!!

"I wait for His coming, and it will be through story that He arrives." p219

A must read.
Dec 09, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, books -- I just can't quit you. Usually.

It's very seldom that I stop reading a book before finished, but I did with this one. I was more than halfway through, to note. Not to entirely lump this read in with them by any means, but as with a lot of self-help-y Christian books, To Be Told just gets repetitive, with a side dish of "I know you wish to inspire, but I've heard it all before."

Dan Allender's story of recovery from abuses and addictions in his own life to become a leading spiritually-
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book invites you to explore what the events in your own life reveal not only our blindness to sin but to reveal how God has been present already. If we believe Scripture is truly from the mouth of God and that we were made in His image, then it only makes sense that how God reveals His story to us is significant to out own process of revelation. We are such forgetful creatures that writing solidifies past and present so the future may have more lasting context. This book warmed and challeng ...more
Carissa Beard
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
As a writer and counseling student this book resonated deeply with me. Seeing one's life in terms of story and compelling that story forward. This is worth a second reading as there are so many gems here.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Allender is one of my favorite authors, and his "To Be Told" illustrates why I enjoy reading his work. Not only does he master the language, he writes with such fluidity and color he draws you into his subject matter, that is, writing your personal story. This is not an invitation to write a simple autobiography, rather a chance to dig deeper into details which have framed your life.

Allender asks "What if we were to embrace with wonder every person who has spoken our name and written our story--
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw that the premise of the book was life as story, I knew I had to read it. As a writer and reader, this was speaking my language. Allender both challenges and inspires as he urges the reader to face and write the darkest parts of their own stories, while simultaneously holding those dark stories up to the light to give hope to others. I was most intrigued by his assertion that to find God's path forward we must learn to accurately read the stories of our past. The only disappointment I ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book seemed to speak to my soul. It is as if I could have written big portions of it and the rest were the missing chapters. I am super challenged to pursue my own story anew. I didn't really care for the part of trying to convince me of how God repents but I also could see his point. I also wish the book had more directives on how to work out the concepts he is asking of his readers as opposed to selling a workbook companion that I can buy digitally. If it did it would have had five stars.
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
While the overall concept of reading your life as a story that has characters, plot, drama etc., is intriguing and helpful, this book fell short for me. It does have several profound moments but overall I didn't appreciate Allender's writing style. The book did however work well for creating discussion--I lead a small group of friends through this book this summer and if it weren't for our lively discussions I probably would have stopped reading this.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book about the importance of each of our stories. Ironically, it's probably over-told, and I felt it could have been done just as well in half as many word. Unlike many things I've read, though, the central ideas are with me permanently and I am a safer person to others for having read it. Allender knows a thing or two about healing and honouring the person we are and the stories we have lived.
Sep 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Allender reminds me a lot of Eldredge. Both men are passionate about stories and people discovering and living out their own story. i would like to share more of my own life stories, as well as ask others their stories. Stories of rescue or God's provision. Stories of burning bushes or God's silence. i want to be more intentional in storytelling.
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Dan B. Allender, Ph.D, is a fly fisherman who also serves as president and professor of counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School near Seattle, Washington. He is a therapist in private practice, and a frequent speaker and seminar leader. Dan received his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. He is the author of To Be Told: ...more
“Fasting from any nourishment, activity, involvement or pursuit—for any season—sets the stage for God to appear. Fasting is not a tool to pry wisdom out of God's hands or to force needed insight about a decision. Fasting is not a tool for gaining discipline or developing piety (whatever that might be). Instead, fasting is the bulimic act of ridding ourselves of our fullness to attune our senses to the mysteries that swirl in and around us."—Dan B. Allender, PhD” 10 likes
“So take seriously the story that God has given you to live. It’s time to read your own life, because your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.” 7 likes
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